Employee Skills Assessments: Making the Most of Your Workforce

Goal Management
November 9, 2021

Ensuring employees possess the right skills is crucial. Enter employee skills assessment – a valuable tool empowering HR professionals to identify and assess the skills of future or current employees and ultimately leverage the talents within their workforce. 

For HR professionals, this process is akin to having a personalized roadmap for employee development. It enables them to achieve some of the following objectives.

For example:

  • Craft targeted training programs
  • Create personalized learning paths
  • Plan for the future by aligning employee skills with organizational goals

While traditionally, we have seen skills assessment tests happening during the recruitment and onboarding process, employers have realized their importance and have started conducting them periodically for their existing workforce. Having a robust assessment structure enables companies to make the most of their workforces. It also ensures that they have the requisite skills needed to perform their expected tasks.  

In this article, we’ll explore why your companies could benefit from actively investing in employee skills assessment, highlighting the transformative impact it can have on individual careers and the collective success of the organization.

Benefits of Employee Skills Assessment

1. Reduce bias

In a popular Gallup survey of 7,500 full-time employees, they found the top reason for burnout being “unfair treatment at work.” Most employees complain of workplace politics acting as a bottleneck and hindering their proper growth. Undertaking a skills assessment test would help employees prove their abilities and mitigate the negative effects of favouritism and bias. This shift towards a merit-based approach ensures that talent is recognized and nurtured based on actual capabilities, not personal opinions. For HR leaders, this translates into a more accurate identification of high-potential employees. This becomes a powerful tool for HR leaders, fostering a culture of fairness and transparency and maximizing the full potential of their workforce.

2. Close the skill gap

According to a SHRM study, 75% of employers reported difficulty in hiring because they faced skill gaps in job candidates. As a result, companies often hire people who may not be the best fit for their position. When HR leaders actively undertake periodic monitoring of their development via skills assessment tests., they can better understand the skills gaps within their workforce and plan accordingly. In other words, HR can proactively bridge the divide between existing skills within their workforce and the evolving needs of the organization. This proactive stance is crucial for the organization's overall success. Addressing skill gaps ensures that the workforce remains adaptable and aligned with the company's objectives. It enhances employee performance, productivity, and job satisfaction while safeguarding against potential organizational shortcomings.

3. Creating personalized development plans

Creating personalized development plans is imperative in today's fast-changing world. Employees are frequently called upon to acquire new skills to adapt to technological and industry shifts. Consequently, hiring decisions increasingly hinge on a candidate's proactive approach to personal and professional growth, recognizing the ongoing need for evolution post-employment.

Incorporating a skills assessment tool into your workplace practices is instrumental in supporting employees with the desire to cultivate fresh skills. It serves as a proactive mechanism, identifying skill gaps and ensuring that employees receive targeted development opportunities. Moreover, the tool enables HR to craft individualized training plans, fostering an environment where employees feel valued, empowered, and equipped to take on their roles. This bolsters employee satisfaction and strengthens the organization's resilience in the face of evolving demands.

4. Boost Retention and Satisfaction

The adoption of these assessment tools signifies an organization's commitment to identifying and nurturing individual strengths. This acknowledgment not only empowers employees but also fosters a sense of value within the workforce. When employees perceive that their skills are not only acknowledged but actively developed, it contributes significantly to employee engagement and job satisfaction. The result is a workforce that feels not only competent in their roles but also valued and supported. This heightened job satisfaction translates into increased employee engagement and loyalty, making employee skills assessment a powerful tool for HR leaders seeking to create a workplace where talent not only thrives but remains committed for the long term.

Potential Drawbacks of Employee Skills Assessment

Using an employee skills assessment tool can benefit individual employees and the organization as a whole. However, this process is not without its limitations. This section will review some of the potential shortcomings of these types of evaluations, so you can be prepared to address and mitigate these potential problems if and when they arise. 

1. Subjectivity in self-evaluation

When employees are asked to assess their own skills, the number one risk is faulty assessment. In other words, self-assessment leads to subjectivity, as people may overstate their abilities due to personal biases or a desire to appear favourable. This can result in inaccurate data. Self-assessment may fail to provide the objectivity needed for a comprehensive understanding of skills.

2. Inflated confidence

Similarly, when employees assess their own skills, there's a risk of inflated confidence. In these cases, employees rate themselves higher than their actual proficiency. This can misguide HR decisions, causing a disconnect between perceived and actual skills within the organization.

3. Challenge in identifying genuine gaps

Limited self-awareness may hinder the identification of genuine skill gaps. Without a clear understanding of weaknesses and areas of improvement in your workforce, targeted development efforts may fall short.

4. Low participation and response rates

As someone who works in HR, you know that getting everyone to participate is unlikely, especially in large organizations. Some employees may exhibit low participation rates or response rates for self-assessment, potentially resulting in incomplete or skewed data. This could present a barrier to obtaining a holistic view of the organization's skill landscape.

Reducing these challenges 

To address these challenges, it's crucial to supplement self-assessment with external evaluations and feedback mechanisms. This approach ensures a more balanced and accurate representation of employee skills, laying a reliable foundation for strategic talent development and organizational growth.

Finding The Right Skills Assessment Tools

Using third-party tools

HR teams can efficiently conduct employee skills assessments by leveraging third-party tools and services, streamlining the process and obtaining valuable insights. Here are some examples:

LinkedIn Skill Assessments:

Description: LinkedIn offers skill assessments for various domains.

Benefits: HR can gauge candidates' proficiency directly on their professional profiles.


Description: SkillSurvey provides 360-degree feedback and skill assessments.

Benefits: Offers a comprehensive view of an employee's skills through peer and supervisor feedback.


Description: Vervoe offers skill testing and assessments for hiring and development.

Benefits: Helps HR evaluate both technical and soft skills through real-world simulations.

Cost-effective alternatives

For HR teams on a budget, several cost-effective solutions ensure effective employee skills assessments:

Google Forms:

Description: You can create custom skill assessment surveys from scratch using the tools available on Google Forms.

Benefits: Free and user-friendly, allowing HR to design tailored assessments.

Talentsoft Hub:

Description: Talentsoft Hub offers a suite of HR solutions, including affordable skills assessment tools.

Benefits: Tailored for small to medium-sized businesses, providing a cost-effective solution.

Test Gorilla:

Description: Test Gorilla offers a solution designed to assist employers in evaluating the skills and abilities of job candidates efficiently. 

Benefits: Test Gorilla’s platform is cost-effective and available for even small teams,  covering areas such as cognitive abilities, personality traits, technical skills, and job-specific competencies.

Final Thoughts

The pursuit of optimizing your workforce through skills assessments is not just a strategic move; it's a commitment to unlocking the potential of all employee.

However, like many endeavours in HR, there are challenges and roadblocks to be on the lookout for, like subjectivity in self-evolution and low participation rates. But these challenges can be mitigated with the right approaches. 

By embracing skills assessments, HR professionals are committed to fair recognition and transparent talent development. This commitment goes beyond identifying strengths; it extends to crafting personalized development plans that enable employees to evolve alongside the ever-changing demands of their roles.

Ultimately, investing in employee skills assessment leads to a workplace where talents become aligned with organizational goals, and employees are empowered to reach their full potential.

Guest Author